Learn about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally: events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries. Choose from our series of lively and creative blocks: find out about key commemorative days such as Remembrance Day, Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving Day, the first aeroplane flight, Shakespeare’s birthday, the Monarch’s official birthday, important National Days and Commonwealth Day.
Can you help to celebrate Commonwealth Day? Start this block with an important visit from the monarch and listen as they set a special challenge. Learn through a series of creative activities: Create a Commonwealth collage, take part in traditional games from Commonwealth countries and design a unique Commonwealth flag. Finally, come together and celebrate your achievements with a friendly Commonwealth Day!
This Topic is written for Key Stage 1. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.
Be amazed by a visit from the monarch, who sets a special challenge. Learn about the history of the Commonwealth and the values it stands for, then create a Commonwealth collage!
Learn what life is like for children in different countries of the Commonwealth. Try playing some of the games that originate in Commonwealth countries.
Examine the 53 flag designs from Commonwealth Countries. Learn why colours and pictures are used on certain flags. Design a unique flag for the Commonwealth.
Consolidate and celebrate the learning throughout this block. Children host an invited audience to celebrate their learning. The monarch congratulates children.
Be inspired by the life of William Shakespeare. Examine events in his life and think about what life would have been like in Tudor times. Learn about his most famous works and go on a virtual tour of the Globe Theatre. It’s party time - host a birthday party for Shakespeare and meet a surprise guest!
Examine Shakespeare’s life timeline, talk about key events and dramatise an event in his life.
What would life have been like for Shakespeare? Learn about Tudor life and explore the developments of life since Tudor times by sorting images from life then & now.
Watch clips about Shakespeare’s work and tour the Globe theatre. Children can celebrate their learning by hosting a birthday party for Shakespeare.
Every year the UK celebrates the official birthday of the Monarch. Find out about the origin of this annual event and about the traditional celebrations such as the Trooping of Colour and the Monarch’s birthday honours list.
Sing about months of the year, compile a block graph of class birthdays, and enjoy a birthday story. Which real person has 2 birthdays?!
Walk and move like a royal monarch, make your own crown and paint a royal portrait. Enjoy ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Royal birthday’.
Practice marching; Learn about ‘Trooping the Colour’ - design own colour to troop to.
Children consider who they would honour and why; invite audience to ‘Honours’ presentation and celebration.
Learn about the Wright brothers and the story of their historic first aeroplane flight on December 17th 1903; find out about the history of flight and begin to understand how aeroplanes fly; consolidate your learning by using music and role play to recreate the events of that auspicious day.
Watch footage of man’s early flight attempts and think about the time before aeroplanes were invented. Watch the BBC clip ‘Story of Icarus’ and act out the story creating your own character dialogue.
Sing the song ‘Flying Machines’. Read through information and learn about the Wright brothers and the events of December 17th1903. Create an airstrip in the classroom and re-enact that special day.
Complete a challenge and then meet Orville Wright. Listen to Orville’s version of events as he talks through a PowerPoint presentation.
Sally has a question: How can a huge aeroplane full of passengers fly in the sky? Read Planes by Fiona Patchett and begin to understand how planes can actually fly.
Consolidate the learning throughout this block by hosting a celebration. Recreate the events of December 17th 1903 through roleplay and perform the song ‘Flying Machine’.
Traditionally the first Thanksgiving Day occurred in 1621 when the Plymouth Pilgrim community joined in a feast with Native Poeples to celebrate the first harvest. Take part in role-play, practical tasks and creative activities, inspired by this annual family orientated day of turkey dinners and parades in USA.
What would it be like to have to leave the known & journey to the unknown? Children empathise by imagining a journey into space to an unknown planet – what would you need to take?
New ways and life style for Pilgrims, helped by Squanto and indigenous population, Wampanog Tribe.
Pilgrims and Native peoples interact together and teach each other new skills. Hot seat Pilgrim and Native peoples; experience practical and creative tasks.
Children present their learning to invited audience. Watch present day traditional parade.
Children reflect on their memories and understand the meaning of symbols, in particular the Remembrance Day poppy. Explore and discover the reasons behind Remembrance Day and how the event is marked around the world.
Children reflect on their memories – birthday celebrations, family holidays, significant faith days, funny things, trips and treats. Is there a special something that you and their family always remember and celebrate?
On everyday items symbols represent and signify things we want to identify and/or remember.
Poppies as symbols of Remembrance. Combine story ‘Where the Poppies Now Grow’ with contemporary artists Scarlett Raven, Paul Cummins and Tom Piper. (Continue into Session 4).
Learn when Remembrance Day takes place. Complete Art work and listen to poem ‘Poppies for Remembrance’.
Class visit to local memorial. Do we recognize any of the surnames listed? National memorial = The Cenotaph Whitehall, London; Remembrance Sunday; also, Menin Gate, Ypres.
Is Remembrance Day only a national event or is it global? What do other countries do?
This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.
Learn about the trading currencies of the Benin kingdom and how it changed over time; explore the different trade routes the kingdom of Benin was part of; learn about the trading between foreign traders and the Benin people and finish by devising a trading role-play.
This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.
Learn about the trading currencies of Benin and how it changed over time. Make replicas of some of the trading tokens.
Explore the different trade routes that the kingdom of Benin used to trade with different people around Africa, and even beyond.
Learn how trading took place: that Benin traders would meet with foreign traders in an appointed spot. Explore how they negotiated for days, sometimes weeks. Learn that if the foreign traders stole from the Benin people, they refused to trade until they apologised. Undertake a role-play to show trade between foreign traders and the Benin.
Track the development and history of an early Islamic civilisation – the great city of Baghdad. Compare and contrast these developments with Western Europe at the same time, learn about the spread of Islam through the Middle East and beyond, and examine trade and everyday life in Baghdad. Finally discover the legacy of early Islam and the continuing influences we see today.
This block looks at the history of important aspects of Islam, such as the Quran and hadiths, hajj, the observance of Ramadan and the festival of Eid al-Fitr.
Note – Hamilton Trust uses the form ‘Muhammad (pbuh)’ where he is mentioned. This follows a general convention and is seen by some as a mark of respect. It is up to individual teachers as to whether they follow this convention in written and spoken materials.
Find out about the history of the Quran, look at ancient copies of the book and hear it recited. Find out about the history of hadiths. Learn how to write in early Arabic script using an ancient style pen and ink.
Examine the history of the Kabaah and the hajj - the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Make a model of the Kaaba.
An important festival in the Islamic calendar is Eid al-Adha. Find out about its long history. Discuss ideas of sacrifice and charity and how they have been used in other religions.
Find out about the history of Ramadan, the period of fasting in the Islamic calendar, and the festival at the end of Ramadan known as Eid al-Fitr. Make some traditional Eid food.
Legendary queen Scheherazade, who told the tales of 1001 Arabian Nights, needs your help! Can you write and illustrate a magical story to enthral King Shahryar for the 1002nd night? You will need to investigate the themes and structures of the original ‘1001 Arabian Nights’ stories, as well as including authentic details of early Islamic civilisation, in order to write an authentic story ready to re-tell to Scheherazade and an invited audience.
Revisit elements of Baghdad life through a role play, meeting legendary queen Scheherazade.
Get ready to write your own Arabian Nights story by investigating the themes and structures of the original ‘1001 Arabian Nights’ stories.
Learn more about the magical ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ stories.
Can you write a ‘1001 Arabian Nights’ story with convincing early Islamic civilisation elements?
Write and illustrate your story for the 1002nd Arabian Night.
Revisit Scheherazade and retell your Arabian Night stories.
Explore the remnants of early Islamic civilisation that we enjoy today. Discover that many words in common use today have their origins in the time of the early Islamic civilisation; experiment with calligraphy; watch videos and read about a range of Islamic scholars; decorate manuscripts in an Islamic style; and much more!
Discover that many words we commonly use are from languages other than English/Old English. Realise that language travels with people and is not confined by borders (just as the goods and cultures that passed along the ‘silk road’).
Explore how the Islamic conquest of Central Asia spread the knowledge of paper-making. Discover how to make paper, pen and ink.
Learn about 4 Key Islamic Scholars and choose one to write a biography about using appropriate knowledge and skills.
Continue reviewing children’s biographies on the Key Islamic Scholars, then decorate them using the paper, pens and ink created in Session 2.
Collaborate to create a poster presentation that links the work of an ancient scholar/early work, within a specific discipline, with modern-day understanding.
Continue working on their poster and prepare to present it to the class or wider audience.
Discuss and debate to decide which of the incredibly varied discoveries and teachings of the early Islamic scholars, are the most important, enduring and influential.
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